Small RNA-Seq analysis reveals miRNA expression dynamics across tissues in the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae

William Bart Bryant, Mary Katherine Mills, Bradley J.S.C. Olson, Kristin Michel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Malaria continues to be a major global health problem, where disease transmission is deeply linked to the repeated blood feeding nature of the anautogenous mosquito. Given the tight link between blood feeding and disease transmission, understanding basic biology behind mosquito physiology is a requirement for developing effective vector-borne disease control strategies. In the mosquito, numerous loss of function studies with notable phenotypes demonstrate microRNAs (miRNAs) play significant roles in mosquito physiology. While the field appreciates the importance of a handful of miRNAs, we still need global mosquito tissue miRNA transcriptome studies. To address this need, our goal was to determine the miRNA transcriptome for multiple tissues of the pre-vitellogenic mosquito. To this end, by using small RNA-Seq analysis, we determined miRNA transcriptomes in tissues critical for mosquito reproduction and immunity including (i) fat body-abdominal wall enriched tissues, (ii) midguts, (iii) ovaries, and (iv) remaining tissues comprised of the head and thorax. We found numerous examples of miRNAs exhibiting pan-tissue high- or low- expression, tissue exclusion, and tissue enrichment. We also updated and consolidated the miRNA catalog and provided a detailed genome architecture map for the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae. This study aims to build a foundation for future research on how miRNAs and potentially other small RNAs regulate mosquito physiology as it relates to vector-borne disease transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1507-1517
Number of pages11
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Malaria
  • MiRNA
  • Mosquito
  • Mosquito tissue
  • Reproduction
  • Small RNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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